perparing for spill containment

Is Your Facility Prepared When it Comes to Spill Containment?

Part 1 of SafeRack’s Spill Prevention and Containment Series. Industrial spills cause costly damage to equipment, the facility, and fines. Spill protection plans and spill containment equipment aren’t just good ideas; they’re absolute musts for any industrial facility.

The is a Second Part of a Two Part Series on Spill Prevention and Containment.
Part 2 – Being Ready with an Emergency Spill Response Plan

There are few situations in life when the word “spill” isn’t synonymous with the notion of inconvenience. However, when you run an industrial facility, spills are a lot more than just inconvenient. They can cause costly damage to expensive equipment as well as to the facility itself. Toxic spills can also mean serious safety hazards when it comes to your work, the health of your workers, or even the environment.

That said, adequate spill protection plans and spill containment equipment aren’t just good ideas; they’re absolute musts for any industrial facility. They’re also required under regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for many establishments — any that have more than 1,320 gallons of above-ground storage and/or 42,000 gallons of underground storage.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Spill Containment Plan?

Even if your facility and its inventory aren’t large enough to require spill containment as dictated by OSHA regulations, it’s still a good idea to seriously consider. To begin, spill containment equipment is considered more environmentally sound than some of the alternatives, such as absorbent spill kits. Not only do these spill containment systems have a higher containment capacity than absorbent kits do, but they are also reusable as opposed to disposable, making them a better pick from an environmental standpoint.

Taking the right spill containment measures can also add up to significant savings for your company in the event a spill ever does occur. Spill containment equipment drastically reduces the possible impact on surrounding areas, whether that’s the natural outside environment or your actual facility grounds. They can also help retain and save some of the spilled resources, taking the edge off replacement costs.

What Kinds of Spill Containment Equipment Options Are Available to Me?

Naturally, the collective catalog of modern spill containment products out there today isn’t one-size-fits-all. Which option is right for you will depend on your facility, the business you’re in, and your expectations of how a given option should align with your needs.

Railcar Spill Containment – Rail track pans prevent spills in loading/unloading areas and during the material handling process.

Truck Spill Containment – Trucks are a common source of leaks and spills. There are many types of spill containment solutions designed to contain and control those leaks and spills, and, in turn, limit your exposure to fines and other unwanted costs.

Drum-style spill containment solutions and accessories can cover a lot of ground when it comes to their exact design. However, the complete range offered by a top supply vendor is likely to cover berms, pallets, drum vapor locks, spill collectors when using funnels, trays, collectors, and mounted shelves.

IBC and Other Spill Containment – Containment solutions for Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) that help you comply with SPCC, EPA, and UFC requirements. Other solutions include spill berms, tanker leak tourniquet, and general containment trays.

Products like these — especially when purchased from the right merchants — are designed to satisfy all industrial safety requirements. This includes situations regarding oil spill containment, fuel spill containment, and handling of various types of hazardous wastes (e.g., acids, bulk chemicals). Many merchants will also offer specialized portable spill containment berms designed for tank trucks, railcars, and various IBC-related uses.

Which Spill Containment Option Best Fits My Needs?

One of the major things you’ll need to consider when evaluating your spill containment options is the product material. Some materials are more resistant to certain chemicals than others:

Polyethylene: This option is a good choice for the storage of reactive or corrosive chemicals in instances where temperature extremes will not be an issue. Polyethylene is also a cost-effective option that is highly resistant to humidity and moisture exposure.

Fluorinated Polyethylene: In instances where the cost of steel drums is a concern and you’re dealing with chemicals or substances that could degrade standard polyethylene, this is a good alternative. Like standard polyethylene, fluorinated polyethylene is also considered a cost-effective option.

Steel: Steel is capable of handling fuels, industrial solvents, and many other substances that polyethylene cannot. It’s also capable of withstanding temperature extremes. It is not, however, resistant to humidity or corrosive environments.

The storage of flammable liquids or combustibles is also something to carefully consider, as it presents a unique set of challenges. Among other things, you’ll need to consider fire/heat resistance of the containment device, whether there’s adequate ventilation for ignitable vapors, and any applicable regulations.

Choosing the Right Spill Containment Equipment Vendor

Just as important as the actual items you select is the merchant you ultimately choose. Choose someone with an excellent reputation, as well as a staff consisting of seasoned experts that can help you make a smart, thoroughly informed decision about your spill containment purchase. Good industrial supply vendors aren’t just connections between you and the equipment you need. They should be valuable business partners you feel comfortable taking advice from — and someone you feel you’ll be doing business with well into the future.

At SafeRack, we offer a full catalog of quality, value-conscious industrial supplies, including spill containment and prevention products. Let us help you find the ideal solution for your company today!